The Bills improved on their 6–10 record from 2013, finishing with a 9–7 record, their first winning season since 2004, but it still didn't help the team make the playoffs.Ralph Wilson, the founding owner of the Buffalo Bills, died at the age of 95 on March 25, 2014.
On November 30, the Bills beat the Cleveland Browns giving them their seventh win, which not only improved on the previous season, in which they finished 6-10 for the third time since 2003 (they finished 6-10 in 20, the latter of which after they started 5-2), but it also gives them their best start entering December since the 2000 Buffalo Bills season, in which they finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
With a win against the Green Bay Packers on December 14, the Bills broke a league-leading streak of nine consecutive losing seasons dating back to 2005; however, the next week's 26-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders eliminated them from playoff contention for the 15th consecutive year, continuing a league-leading drought.
In his will, Wilson placed the team into a trust governed by his wife, niece and two team officials, who were separately given instructions to sell the team in short order, not only to the highest bidder, but with a precondition that the team be kept in Buffalo.
Three bidders stepped forward with bids: stalking horse bidder Donald Trump, the family of Buffalo Sabres owner and natural gas baron Terrence Pegula and a consortium led by musician Jon Bon Jovi and the principals of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, the last of whom raised serious concerns that the team would relocate to Toronto at the first opportunity.
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The Pegula family was named as the winning bidder on September 9 and closed on its purchase of the team on October 8.
On March 5, 2014, three weeks before Wilson's death, the Bills announced the postponement of the Bills Toronto Series for one year.
In his first start as a Bill against Detroit at Ford Field, Orton threw for 308 yards as Buffalo came back from a 14-0 halftime deficit to defeat Detroit 17-14 in then-defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz's first return to Detroit since being fired in the offseason, following an eventual game-winning 58-yard field goal by kicker Dan Carpenter. Spiller and Fred Jackson were both injured in the first half.